Film Review: Beastly
March 25, 2011 2:50 PM
It is sometimes incredible to believe that movie producers spend such huge amounts of time and money to produce pieces that clearly state the immaturity of their careers. “Beastly”, which is a modern day re-telling of Disney’s classic “Beauty and the Beast”, is a perfect example of this
“Beastly”is the story of a kid named Kyle, played by relative newcomer, Alex Pettyfer, who is completely infatuated with his looks and what others think of him. Due to his strained and terrible relationship with his father, he teases his peers when he does not believe they match his confident and cocky persona. These actions cause him to peeve off the wrong person.
Mary-Kate Olsen(making her first major acting role in years) plays the witch that transforms Kyle into the ugly beast. If he does not find love within a year, he will stay in his ugly, scared, and misshapen state for the rest of his life. He is placed in a home by his father to hide his ugliness from the rest of the world.
Kyle meets Lindy, played by “High School Musical” alumnus Vanessa Hudgens, who gives him hope when it comes to the possibility of falling in love. After a drug deal gone wrong, Lindy’s father is warned by the dealers that he will lose his daughter.
Kyle quickly comes to the rescue and Lindy lives with him, after some convincing her father that she will be safe with him. After months of not communicating with one another, Kyle finally shows Lindy his true identity and they become friends, and slowly but surely fall in love.
Will, played by Neil Patrick Harris(“How I Met Your Mother”) plays a blind schoolteacher and is Kyle’s home schooling tutor while he is kept hidden. Will helps Kyle fall in love with Lindy and helps him learn to treat her properly. He also resembles the character of Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast”, in his mannerisms and personality.
Zola, played by Lisa Gay Hamilton, is Kyle’s caretaker and resembles Mrs. Potts from “Beauty and the Beast”. She acts as a kindly motherly figure to him, giving him confidence and the strength to believe in himself, despite his hideous exterior. She teaches him to believe that what truly matters is on the inside.
With the help of his friends, Kyle eventually succeeds at getting Lindy to fall in love with him. Shortly after, however, Kyle is frightened by the thought that Lindy might not really love him in return. He can’t believe that someone could truly fall in love with him, just based upon who he is as a person.
Without giving the excitement of the ending away, things end up happily ever after, just like in the Disney’s take on this tale. We also learn a lesson that inner beauty matters far more than appearance.
The idea of the movie had great potential and could have been a great teen love story. However, the choice of who played the lead character of Kyle ultimately ruined the movie.
Pettyfer is excellent at being attractive, but not so excellent at acting. He started out fine as he played the confident character of Kyle, but once he turned in to the opposite of himself, his confidence as an actor went with his confidence as a character. He did not seem comfortable dealing with the deeper emotional material.
“The previews were a little misleading but the movie was still good. For some, it might be a let down,” says Kaitlin Negus, a first year nutrition student.
Harris played a very believable blind person and was witty and interesting. Hudgens who played along side Pettyfer, was able to mask some of the unnecessary awkwardness that Pettyfer brought to the stage, but also captured the character of Belle that we know and love in a decent manner.
“Beauty and the Beast” is a very well known children’s fairy tale and the Disney version a much more effective film than Beastly at portraying the moral of the story. Clearly, the moral of the story is to love yourself no matter what you look like and don’t judge others just on their appearances. An admirable message, if only the movie which delivered it was worthy of our viewing.
Save your money and stay home and study, or watch the original animated classic. This movie only deserves four stars out of ten, proving that some stories are better left alone.